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Like Rarotonga, Aitutaki has seen a "beach bungalow" boom in recent years. Indeed, everyone with lagoonside land seems to have put up bungalows to rent. Samade on the Beach and Ranginui's Retreat, are two of the better examples.

Aitutaki's least expensive backpacker lodging is at Josie's Beach Lodge (tel. 31-659), a tin-roof house with a screened veranda a few steps from Ootu Pass between the mainland and the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, and within walking distance of Samade on the Beach restaurant and bar . Its five rooms range from NZ$25 to NZ$50 (US$16-US$33) double per night. You can get breakfast at Josie's, but you cannot use your credit card.

Inexpensive

Aitutaki's least expensive backpacker lodging is at Josie's Beach Lodge (tel. 31-659; josies@aitutaki.net.ck), a tin-roof house with a screened veranda a few steps from Ootu Pass between the mainland and the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, and within walking distance of Samade on the Beach and The Boat Shed Bar & Grill . Its five rooms, none with its own bathroom, range from NZ$30 to NZ$60 (US$24-US$48/£12-£24) double per night. It's cash only. You can also breakfast at Josie's.

A good choice on the west coast is the simple but clean Amuri Guest House (tel. 31-749; amuri.lodges@hotmail.com), where Ngatuaine and Maraiti Tom have four rooms flanking the central hallway of their house. All share two bathrooms, a communal kitchen, and a TV lounge. Rates are NZ$70 (US$56/£28) double, including tropical breakfast. No credit cards.

Cottage Rentals

Aitutaki has lots of "beach bungalows." Indeed, everyone with a plot of lagoonside land seems to have put up cottages to rent. Samade on the Beach and Ranginui's Retreat, below, are two of the better examples. So is Popoara Ocean Breeze Villas (tel. 31-739; www.popoara.com), north of Ootu Pass; its four cottages are part of a complex with Popoara Rentals and The Boat Shed Bar & Grill. Cottages rent for NZ$135 (US$108/£54) a night.

On the west coast, Rino's Beach Bungalows (tel. 31-197; rinos@aitutaki.net.ck) has clean, comfortable New Zealand-style rooms and apartments beside the beach between Arutanga and the Pacific Resort. Although not as charming, they are more spacious than most other beach bungalows here, and you can walk to the main villages. Rooms cost NZ$85 (US$68/£34) double, while apartments range from NZ$120 to NZ$255 (US$96-US$204/£48-£102).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.